Destination Unknown

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After the band's major-label debut was greeted with a lukewarm reception, Mest's sophomore disc shows the band treading into somewhat unfamiliar territory for the Chicago foursome. Most strikingly, Mest peppers their punky power pop with Sugar Ray-like pseudo-hip-hop, even employing Young MC to add production to the most guilty tracks: the riff-tastic lead single, "Cadillac," the Sublime-ska sample-and-electronic-percussion-led "Reasons," and "Mother's Prayer," a mellow tear-jerker, all of which makes Marvin Young this outfit's DJ Homicide. A few tracks hit upon the right three chords, such as the cheeky "Fuct up Kid," but the lyrics are overwhelmingly pedestrian, and in a crowded field, Destination Unknown's destination might just be the cutout bin.

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